Advice for individuals wishing to make substantial charitable donations

There are many different ways to support a worthwhile cause. Clients may wish to support existing charities or alternatively they may wish to establish a new charity. Clients may also wish to consider other ways of making a difference, for example: volunteering; supporting charitable projects; or “social investment”. Each method has different legal and financial implications for the donor.

Our Charities Group has extensive experience of finding the most appropriate option for clients' in their differing circumstances.

Donations to pre-existing charities

  • For larger donations you may wish to “manage” your donation to ensure the cash or assets donated are used appropriately. We can help you specify what charitable purposes the donation can be used for and ensure that your wishes are appropriately monitored and safe guarded.

For UK tax payers:

  • We can advise on how to maximise the tax efficiency of gifts of cash, shares/securities and land/buildings to UK registered charities. (See our brochure - “Tax Reliefs Available on Charitable Gifts”).
  • Tax relief is not automatically available for gifts to overseas charities but we can advise on suitable structures to enable tax relief to be claimed.

For individuals paying tax in the UK and elsewhere:

  • For clients with exposure to tax in the United Kingdom and elsewhere matters can get rather complicated. Bespoke advice will be needed to ensure that any tax relief obtained in one jurisdiction is not cancelled out by tax being suffered in the other.

Create your own charity

In the right circumstances is it appropriate to create a new UK charity and register it with the Charity Commission. Such charities are usually created in your lifetime but can also be created through a Will.

  • We can help with the creation and registration of a new charity, including advice on the most appropriate structure.
  • Our Charity Group can assist with the administration of the charity and compliance with the Charity Commission and, if relevant, Companies House.
  • You may need help choosing trustees who you are confident will give effect to your wishes
  • Many clients encourage children to be actively involved and in many cases the hope is that they will take over the running of the charity in due course.
  • We can provide appropriate assistance and training for trustees.
  • Our charity group works together as a cross-departmental team which has expertise from a range of key practice areas: Trusts and Tax, Employment and Pensions, Intellectual Property, Technology and Commercial and Corporate and Property.

Alternatives to creating your own charity

Setting up a new charity is not always the best way to proceed. You can save on time and costs if you work collaboratively with an existing charity.

  • Think about creating a separate fund within a different charity. The fund can be named if, for example, you wish to commemorate someone. The fund can, in appropriate circumstances, have its own rules and regulations to give you peace of mind that your wishes are being followed.
  • We can help you to join forces with an existing charity. If you already have a charity you could consider merging, or working collaboratively with, another appropriate charity.
  • For some clients it is appropriate to, at least temporarily, set up a managed trust account through an organisation (the most well known of which is the Charities Aid Foundation).
  • Charities do not just need your money. Your skills and time might be even more valuable. Volunteering can be a really rewarding experience. Many of the “household name” charities have volunteers acting as trustees or sitting on management teams passing on their business experience.

Your solution….?

  • The above is only a summary of some of the options available. We can design a tailor-made package to suit you.
  • We charge a fixed fee of £500 plus VAT for an initial meeting to discuss the appropriate options. Alternatively, if you know which option you would like to pursue then we will be able to give you an indication of the likely costs involved.